AT&T buying Alltel for $780 million, getting more coverage in six states

AT&T buying Alltel for $780 million, getting more coverage in six states
AT&T, the nation’s second largest carrier, has just announced that it will acquire Atlantic Tele-Network’s wireless service known under the Alltel brand for $780 millions delivered in the form of good old hard cash.

This will buy AT&T licenses, network assets, retail stores and some 585,000 subscribers.

Alltel’s network covers nearly 4.6 million people in rural areas throughout the states of Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. This expanded coverage will obviously be of biggest benefit to AT&T.

Not least, AT&T will get a hold on spectrum in the 700MHz, 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands. All those are frequencies that should easily be integrated in AT&T’s existing network.

If the FCC and the Departmen of Justice greenlight the deal, it should close sometime in the second half of 2013.

source: The Next Web

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21 Comments

1. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Wait, huh? I thought alltel was owned, merged, or partnered with Verizon? Am I missing something?

5. deago78

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

As did I. I remember a number of Alltel stores being converted to verizon locations a number of years ago in my home town in Ohio.

18. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Verizon bought Alltel and Unicel around the same time a few years back and was ordered on completion to divest some markets by the FCC so it would not be considered a monopoly. AT&T got some of it earlier, AtlanticTel got most of the rest of Alltel, and a small few markets went independent. AT&T seems to want all the rest of it now.

2. IamTheGodfatherofCell

Posts: 33; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Yeah Alltell was bought out by Verizon a few years back....not making much sense there....further explanation please

3. gameday78

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

alltel was bought out by Verizon a few years ago. When that happened they were only able to buy something like 90% of the company and its assets... That way Verizon didnt have a monopoly in some markets. This is what is left of alltel that att is snatching up.

4. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

What happened to Verizon owning Alltel?

6. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

What I recall is then #2 Verizon announced a deal to buy then #7 Alltel. But the deal ran into some competitive issues with the regulators in some markets, so VZW was permitted to buy *most* of Alltel (I'm remembering 59%, but don't quote me). Verizon was required to sell some assets (which AT&T took advantage of last year). Eventually, Verizon's Alltel's customers that hadn't been converted already were folded into the Verizon brand 12-18 months ago. What remained of Alltel continued to operate independently (as far as I know) until Atlantic Tele-network bought them 2-3 years ago. Now AT&T wants them.

7. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Cue Sprint in 3,2,1........

8. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

OK, but Alltel is CDMA, and AT&T is GSM. So how is this going to work? We wound up on Sprint because Verizon didn't work at our high school while our daughter was there. Alltel worked as well, but AT&T was totally dead. This is going to thrill a lot of Alltel customers (please note - sarcasm).

9. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

My question also, GSM and CDMA?... Unless they are going to run straight LTE off these frequencies..hummm

10. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yeah, that along with the VZW deal, none of this makes sense. To run GSM off those towers I'm sure would require a complete upgrade to them. Then the remaining alltel customers would lose their roaming deals because VZW doesn't, can't, have a roaming deal with ATT since ATT is all GSM. I really wish the article would explain more about this.

11. Charlie_boy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

If they're going straight to LTE.. Subscribers with old (non LTE) handsets will have problems..

13. cybervlad81

Posts: 89; Member since: Apr 04, 2011

If I remember correctly Alltel actually had both GSM and CDMA, the majority of it's network was CDMA but they did have some GSM, in other words - Alltel was a mess. Also, the spectrum is what really matters, converting equipment is done pretty regular anyways as technology changes.

12. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Same way MetroPCS will merge into T-Mobile, I assume. They're almost the same deal. Major GSM carrier buying a CDMA carrier with compatible spectrum. After the deal is approved, new phones will be launched which are AT&T compatible. In existing AT&T markets, they'll add GSM spectrum to towers as time goes on. The new coverage areas will get upgraded AT&T towers, with CDMA spectrum being gradually moved over as Alltel customers upgrade phones.

15. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Maybe, one can hope anyway, these carriers buying other carriers will lead to an era of unlocked, unbranded phones. Ones that can run GSM, CDMA, LTE, Evdo, HSPDA and +, etc. That way we can buy our phone off contract and then pick the carrier we want. Doubt it though.

17. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Yeah...don't hold your breath on that one.

20. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 2012

PFffffft... keep dreaming

14. jiggaphone

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 25, 2011

so as some one else stated verizon had purchased alltel but due to monopoly rights had to sell some off to other companies and some of the other companies choose to keep the alltel name due to it being more well known. now it those other companies that att wants. all of south dakota and most and majority of north dakota were sold to att and the conversion was a pain in the ... but it happened and it will probably be smoother the second time around. so yes there are some companies around that just took the alltel name.

16. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

AT&T dropped the ball in the Dakotas BIG TIME when they received the Verizon leftovers, I witnessed it with my own eyes. I personally can't see anything good happening once AT&T touches it.

19. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

To be brutally honest, I'd rather go back to "Regional Carriers". These big companies are just into greed and we are all just becoming meaningless numbers.

21. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 2012

Then dont buy a contracted smartphone, get a pay as you go one. No ones got a gun to your head

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